Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Discussion: is the internet overtaking everything?

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9 Replies - 1898 Views - Last Post: 10 October 2009 - 05:03 PM

#1 ApacheSoft  Icon User is offline

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Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Post icon  Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:14 AM

Hi everyone! I would like to discuss this with you...

Over the past few months, in books I have read, with articles I have seen on the 'net, and people in "the industry" I have spoken to, I can't help but coming back to the notion that maybe... the desktop is dying?

What with all the new gadgets that are emerging - iphones, netbooks, mobile phones that have a pc built into them... it all seems like everybody is gearing towards making everything you would expect on your desktop, to now be available online, over the internet. Why be bogged down with having to sit at home/work with a machine, when you could carry it in your pocket, and have instant access, wherever you are, 24/7?

What are your views on this? Do you think that this is the case? Is it coming to the point where desktop software will become irrelevant maybe? (Except of course for software like your web browser - software needed to access the internet ^^) Or is it just an ambitious dream?

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#2 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:21 AM

I think this is quite a good question. It's not something that's going to happen soon, but it's possible that it'll happen eventually.

It's something that actually quite scares me, since I'm very software-oriented. I don't think it's something that could happen overnight, it would be a slow process, and I don't think it could really move to entirely web based stuff within the next decade or so.

As programmers, we're supposed to be able to adapt to new technologies, and move onto it. I can develop the backends for websites, as can many other software developers~ so if it happens, we'll be able to adjust as necessary.

Also, wrong forum.
http://www.dreaminco...showforum93.htm :)

This post has been edited by gabehabe: 21 September 2009 - 07:23 AM

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#3 ApacheSoft  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:25 AM

Oops.. my bad, apologies!
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#4 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:33 AM

No worries, we get it a lot. :) Someone will move it soon.
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:03 AM

More and more software desires an internet connection. A lot of that software has no functional need for the connection. It really just wants to check in with the mother ship, collect data you didn't give it permission to, etc.

I have a Windows machine on my home network that can't get to internet; it's got a static IP address and no gateway defined. I use it for external devices that are too stupid to have Linux drivers and some games. It's educational blocking a Windows box off from the internet; lots of little processes try to escape, all the time. It's the most stable Windows box I've ever had.

While having a central data store is in the users favor for many reasons, the software providers also want the control that a constant net based heart beat provides. Amazon couldn't randomly erase books from your kindle without the connect. Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and many others can't make decisions about what you should and shouldn't have on your computer ( and act on it ) without a network connection.

Given that the makers of the tech want you trapped in the cloud, that's probably where you'll end up. I really don't know if that's a good thing. I wouldn't be surprised if, after ubiquitous online devices are the norm, that you start seeing a new wave of devices that can "actually run WITHOUT a network connection." ;)
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#6 ApacheSoft  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:26 PM

@ Baavgai

I completely understand what you mean regarding these programs that seek access to the internet, even though they don't really need it. I also run a box which is completely isolated, and you're right; it is very very stable!

However.. you make the point that because the big corporations (MS, Apple, Sony, etc) all want to keep their proverbial fingers in all our pies, that software will always need (maybe need is too strong a word) to be desktop based. My argument is that these statistics are easier to collect, manage and use from fully online applications. For example... If I were to run itunes on my isolated machine, apple doesn't know I'm doing so.

But.. say Itunes didn't come as a downloadable package; say it was an online-only application (in the future). Say... I wanted to write a letter to my long lost aunt, but only had spare time whilst I was on the bus?

That presents an excellent opportunity for all the managers, data analysts, SEO'ers, etc, etc. I see billions in revenue to be made from shifting towards a more wireless, less office confined world.

In fact... I challenge you, or anybody else for that matter, to present a situation where the only feasible option, is to use a static (say for example a desktop in an office), as opposed to mobile, machine for a given task.

Why charge everybody a few hundred dollars for a license to use microsoft office, when you (MS) could charge a per-use/weekly/monthly/annual fee to use the product anywhere, anytime, from any mobile device?

I give it 10 years... maybe not even that.

also, as a last note - I honestly can't see anything in the future that runs explicitly without a network conenction of some form. If you look back, through history, everything goes in one direction! Connection! To assign an analogy, that theory, to me, is like Blizzard saying "We're not going to let anyone play WoW anymore, too many people have had too much fun"

? ;)
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#7 Seanmcn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 22 September 2009 - 06:28 PM

View PostApacheSoft, on 21 Sep, 2009 - 05:14 AM, said:

Hi everyone! I would like to discuss this with you...

Over the past few months, in books I have read, with articles I have seen on the 'net, and people in "the industry" I have spoken to, I can't help but coming back to the notion that maybe... the desktop is dying?

What with all the new gadgets that are emerging - iphones, netbooks, mobile phones that have a pc built into them... it all seems like everybody is gearing towards making everything you would expect on your desktop, to now be available online, over the internet. Why be bogged down with having to sit at home/work with a machine, when you could carry it in your pocket, and have instant access, wherever you are, 24/7?

What are your views on this? Do you think that this is the case? Is it coming to the point where desktop software will become irrelevant maybe? (Except of course for software like your web browser - software needed to access the internet ^^) Or is it just an ambitious dream?

The idea is already there and being implemented extremely fast. I'd like someone to name me a piece of software they have yet to find an online version for and the simple fact is the online versions are usually free. Personally I like the idea of cloud computing to an extent, however in the long run as a standard? I think not! I think this new "fad" will stay as it is, sure a percentage of people will start using this online software, but there isn't enough push for most people to close that copy of Word. :ph34r:

View Postgabehabe, on 21 Sep, 2009 - 06:21 AM, said:

I think this is quite a good question. It's not something that's going to happen soon, but it's possible that it'll happen eventually.

It's something that actually quite scares me, since I'm very software-oriented. I don't think it's something that could happen overnight, it would be a slow process, and I don't think it could really move to entirely web based stuff within the next decade or so.

As programmers, we're supposed to be able to adapt to new technologies, and move onto it. I can develop the backends for websites, as can many other software developers~ so if it happens, we'll be able to adjust as necessary.

Really agree with you gabehabe, but I think what scares me is having to do the backends for all that software! :P
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#8 ccubed  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:48 PM

This is the reason we're even discussing this. Ahem. We like to believed we have the ability to eliminate the middle man from any computing activity. Point in fact? Cloud computing is going to go away faster than powder blue suits.

Anyways, my point is that we're trying to get rid of something that is impossible to get rid of. What's the idea of cloud computing? Oh, the middleman is gone...Heh..really? No, he's still there, we've just hidden him under bundles of useless technical terms and scientific white pages.

Second point in fact, Microsoft's attempt at a web based OS. Downloaded when you need it...right...Do we REALLY even want to go there?

So as an ending, My answer to your question is this: They'll keep doing this in an attempt to get rid of what they term the middleman until they finally end up kicking themselves in their own arse and having to publicly announce there were idiots...which microsoft and it's online os will do by saying, 'eh, some people liked it.'
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#9 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 27 September 2009 - 04:46 AM

View PostApacheSoft, on 21 Sep, 2009 - 07:26 PM, said:

Why charge everybody a few hundred dollars for a license to use microsoft office, when you (MS) could charge a per-use/weekly/monthly/annual fee to use the product anywhere, anytime, from any mobile device?


I though Microsoft was already working towards this. They have (or had) their online Office service, but I haven't heard anything else about it since they announced it a few years ago.
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#10 Malevol3nt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Online/Offline: Is one more important than the other these days?

Posted 10 October 2009 - 05:03 PM

I think the cloud might have an impact on some forms of piracy in the future. I'm mostly refering to software and games. You can always copy imagery, text, music, and movies. But if a peace of software only runs on a server, and all you get is a web interface to it, there's pretty much no way of pirating that peace of software. Unless, of course, the binaries or the source code gets released on the net. Mind you that even if that code or binary gets public, it might need a specialized peace of hardware to run on, so the chances of piracy get pretty close to zero in that case.

Just for those reasons alone I think the cloud is going to grow. It's a very tempting solution to piracy, I'm sure various companies will take that to their advantage as the cloud gets more popular over time.
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